The Music of the Night
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Initially made famous by Michael Crawford, the actor who originated the role of the Phantom both in the West End and on Broadway, the popular song has sold millions of copies worldwide and has been translated into many different languages. The Really Useful Group filmed a video starring Crawford and Sarah Brightman (who did not sing), which featured the original lyrics to the song. Crawford later recorded the song as duet with Barbra Streisand for her album "Back to Broadway" (1993). This version of the song also appears on her greatest duets album.
In the musical, it is sung after the Phantom lures Christine Daaé down to his lair beneath the Opera House. He seduces Christine with "his music" of the night, his voice putting her into a type of trance. He sings of his unspoken love for her and urges her to forget the world and life she knew before. The Phantom leads Christine around his lair, eventually pulling back a curtain to reveal a mannequin dressed in a wedding gown resembling Christine. When she approaches it, it suddenly moves causing her to faint. The Phantom then carries Christine to a bed, where he lays her down and goes on to write his music.
Sarah Brightman declared at the London's Royal Albert Hall Concert in 1997, that the song was originally written by Andrew Lloyd Webber for her, the first time he met her. That version had different lyrics and was called "Married Man". The lyrics were later rewritten and the song was added into The Phantom of the Opera. After her run as the original Christine, she began using the song in her solo concerts.
A year before The Phantom Of The Opera even opened at Her Majesty's Theatre, the original version of the song was performed at Andrew Lloyd Webber's own theatre at Sydmonton, along with the first drafts of the show. The audience were a specially gathered group of Webber's acquaintances. The Phantom was played by Colm Wilkinson, who sang "The Music Of The Night" in Act One. As Charles Hart had not yet become involved in writing the song, in places the lyrics were very different from the ones used in the three variations of the song.
One version of "The Music of the Night", as performed by Sarah Brightman, has alternate lyrics, as well as an alternate ending, replacing the line "To the power of the music that I write," with "To the harmony which dreams alone can write".
Because of very noticeable similarities between the song and a recurring melody in Giacomo Puccini's 1910 opera, La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West), Webber has been accused of plagiarism by several individuals. Following the success of Phantom, the Puccini estate filed suit against Webber, accusing him of plagiarism, but the suit was settled out of court and details were not released to the public.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White used the song when ice dancing at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and won a silver medal. Jackie Evancho included the song on her 2012 album Songs from the Silver Screen.
- Alternative lyrics to the song
- Current Broadway Phantom Hugh Panaro performing the song in concert
- Television performance by Julian Lloyd Webber